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Health Services: Regulation

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations have been received by the NHS Appointments Commission in England on the communication skills to be required of professional applicants for membership of councils of professional health regulatory bodies; (196810)

(2) what representations have been received by the NHS Appointments Commission in England on the patient and public advocacy skills to be required of lay applicants for membership of councils of professional health regulatory bodies.

This is a matter for discussion between the Appointments Commission and the relevant professional regulatory bodies. However, they will wish to take into account the recommendations in Niall Dickson’s report ‘Enhancing Confidence in Healthcare Professional Regulation, when it is published’.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of proposals requiring members of councils of professional health regulatory bodies regularly to consult national and local patient and consumer bodies. (196845)

This matter has been raised during consultation on the Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order. The Government are in the process of analysing all the responses and a report will be published shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to ensure that (a) professional and (b) lay members of councils of (i) professional healthcare regulatory bodies and (ii) the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence reflect patient and service user concerns; and if he will make a statement. (196846)

This is currently a matter for discussion between the Appointments Commission and the relevant regulatory bodies. However, in the future they will want to consider the recommendations of Niall Dickson’s report ‘Enhancing Confidence in Healthcare Professional Regulation’, when it is published. We will also be asking the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence for advice on this matter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration has been given to introducing a requirement for lay applicants for membership of councils of professional health regulatory bodies to demonstrate an understanding of issues from (a) patient, (b) consumer and (c) public perspectives. (196848)

In May 2007, the former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Lord Hunt asked Niall Dickson, chief executive of the Kings Fund, to chair one of the seven working groups to take forward key recommendations in the White Paper ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety’. This group was asked to examine those aspects of the White Paper concerned with enhancing public confidence in the regulators of health care professionals. Among these were the criteria for recruitment of lay members for membership of councils of professional health regulatory bodies. The Department will discuss the recommendations of the report of the group with the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, the regulatory bodies and the Appointments Commission.